St. Charles Parish Council will aid tax lobbying effort

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 24, 1999

By LEONARD GRAY / L’Observateur / March 24, 1999

HAHNVILLE – St. Charles Parish agreed Monday to participate in a federaltax plan which could net the parish $4.5 million every year.Federal tax revenue from development of the oil and gas resources on the Outer Continental Shelf is the target of The Conservation Council, a national lobbying effort chaired by Jack Caldwell, Louisiana Secretary of Natural Resources.

Caldwell, in speaking to the Parish Council at its meeting Monday, termed the effort “an idea whose time has come.”Congressional legislation efforts are spearheaded by Rep. Billy Tauzin,Rep. Richard Baker, Rep. Chris John, Sen. John Breaux and Sen. MaryLandrieu, all of Louisiana. They are joined by Rep. Don Young and Sen. FrankMurkowski of Arkansas and Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi.The pending congressional legislation, if approved, would re-direct one- half of the tax income now received by the federal government from oil and gas production on the federal Outer Continental Shelf into the states.

That state revenue would, in turn, be directed at conservation and recreation programs.

To participate in the lobbying effort, the Parish Council approved $10,000 for the lobbying organization. The same lobbying effort could similarlyprovide annual income for St. John the Baptist Parish of $4.1 million andfor St. James Parish of $3.3 million. In another matter, the Parish Council approved spending $46,022 for the installation of 105 street lights along Airline Highway, extending from Evangeline Road in Montz to Almedia Road in St. Rose.Monthly maintenance cost for the Entergy-installed lights will be $2,100 per month, according to Finance Director Roland Becnel.

New Sarpy resident Stanford Caillouet protested the action, and insisted the money could be better spent on pumps for the East Bank Hurricane Protection Levee. Parish President Chris Tregre explained that the RoadLighting District money can, by law, only be spent on road lighting projects.

The Parish Council also prolonged conclusive action on a letter of no objection to a barge fleeting operation near Taft.

At the March 8 meeting, the original resolution was held over to allow a public hearing. When no one besides the applicant appeared for the publichearing Monday, Councilman Ellis Alexander attempted to make it a letter of objection.

That motion failed in a 4-4 vote, with Councilman Ron Phillips absent. Avote to rescind the vote also failed 4-4. The matter will come up at theApril 5 meeting.

The Parish Council approved a zoning law change to allow for towing yards, where vehicles towed for violations such as lack of auto liability insurance and DWIs can be stored until reclaimed or sold.

Parish attorney Randy Lewis explained the action was necessary to permit such tow yard businesses while keeping it separate from junkyards. Theaction was approved 7-1, with Alexander voting no.

Alexander voted against the move as a protest to the towing law.

Dale Estay of Paradis asked the Parish Council to buy land and establish a public recreation park in that town. He pointed out one was planned sincethe town’s establishment more than 90 years ago.

Tregre said negotiations are under way to acquire land from the adjoining Sunset Drainage District.

Finally, the Parish Council approved Greaud Fine Foods for participation in the Louisiana Enterprise Zone program.

Pat Greaud is building a new $1.5 million supermarket at the corner ofSecond and Apple streets in Norco. He presently manages Loupe’sSupermarket in the next block and this new store will add up to 20 new full-time jobs to the present 25 full-time and 15 part-time jobs at Loupe’s.

Return To News Stories